[CT Birds] DEEP Meeting Summary
sffaulkner at comcast.net
Sat Jul 27 11:15:08 EDT 2013
Many thanks to the team that met with the DEEP on behalf of all of us --
sounds like it was a positive and productive meeting, with the door opened
for future communication. Thank you!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Breslin, Sandy" <sbreslin at audubon.org>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Cc: <mbull at ctaudubon.org>
Sent: Friday, July 26, 2013 6:45 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] DEEP Meeting Summary
> Hi All,
> On behalf of Tina Green, Kathy Van Der Aue, Miley Bull, Patrick Comins and
> me, here is the promised rundown of our meeting at CT DEEP Wednesday
> morning (7/24/13) regarding birds and birding in CT State Parks.
> We met with Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen, Bureau of Natural Resources
> Chief, Bill Hyatt, State Parks Division Director, Tom Tyler and Policy
> Director, Jessie Stratton. Wildlife Division Director, Rick Jacobson is
> away on vacation this week, but sent his regrets and expressed his strong
> interest in this issue.
> Overall it was an excellent meeting with agreement that this was just the
> start of an ongoing dialogue between DEEP and the CT birding community.
> Deputy Commissioner Whalen opened the conversation by thanking us for
> coming to Hartford to meet and reiterating her commitment to keep an open
> line of communication with us. There is no doubt that the photos, emails
> and phone calls from all of you on this list made the difference. I can't
> stress that enough!
> Deputy Commissioner Whalen told us that in response to the issues you
> raised, DEEP has already put in place several processes to improve
> internal communications and benefit wildlife including:
> * Parks consultation with Wildlife before improvements are carried out
> (for minor improvements)
> * Annual planning sessions with Wildlife and Parks staff early each
> season to review planned improvements (for major improvements)
> * Ensuring that a biologist is consulted and/or on site when conducting
> activities that have the potential to impact a particular bird or birds.
> * All the DEEP team was extremely upset and sorry about the incident
> with the GHO
> Other issues discussed included:
> * Possibility of creating new shorebird pools elsewhere at Hammonasset.
> We will follow up w Tom Tyler and OLISP.
> * Possibility of working with COA and the Audubons to organize
> workshops for Parks Staff on topics related to natural resource management
> including birds, other wildlife, and plants
> * Despite a tough budget climate, we were assured that DEEP is
> prioritizing the hiring of a non-game biologist to fill the position left
> vacant by Julie Victoria's retirement. This would increase Wildlife's
> capacity to provide needed consultation to Parks. (Note: State funding for
> the agency has decreased, federal support for many positions is reduced or
> disappearing so staffing remains a significant challenge for the agency.
> DEEP has also lost a significant number of staff to retirement in the past
> few years and is about to lose many more.)
> * Mr. Hyatt assured us that despite current staff levels, the Wildlife
> Division is completely committed to providing any needed consultation
> * DEEP requested our assistance in addressing the issue of increased
> trash at all the Parks - any ideas or solutions much appreciated!
> Longer term, we agreed to work together to:
> * Establish a mechanism for providing park managers with current
> information about birds and wildlife in their parks. One idea is to have a
> liaison from the birding community to each Park who would provide regular
> updates to the Park Manager
> * Explore mechanisms to address the access issue - a birding
> stamp, a voluntary license or pass were discussed
> * Explore the possibility meetings w the birding community at
> various parks to obtain input on resources at those sites
> * We agreed to meet again in a few months (October) to continue our
> discussion - there are a number of improvements being planned at parks
> including Hammonasset and Silver Sands
> * Commissioner Whalen, Chief Hyatt and Director Tyler encouraged us to
> keep in touch. We all agreed to keep the communication going!
> So, a very big thanks to all of you for your combined expertise and
> guidance through this process, to COA for providing the CT Birds list that
> made our communication possible, and especially to Tina and Kathy who took
> time out during and before their vacations to attend this meeting. It is
> just a first step, but a good and necessary one!
> Have a great weekend,
> - Sandy
> Director of Governmental Affairs
> Audubon Connecticut
> 185 East Flat Hill Road
> Southbury, CT 06488
> (203) 804-0488 cell (Best)
> (203) 264-5098 x306
> (203) 264-6332 fax
> Audubon Connecticut, the state organization of the National Audubon
> Society, works to protect birds, other wildlife and their habitats using
> education, science and conservation, and legislative advocacy for the
> benefit of people and the earth's biological diversity. Through our
> network of nature education centers, protected wildlife sanctuaries and
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